FOX and the underdog
Most great sports underdog stories happen on the field or hockey rink. The success story of Julie Stewart-Binks, Artsci/PHE’09, is happening in front of a TV camera.
Julie, who is the daughter of longtime Review contributor Georgie Binks, Artsci’75, is making the leap from her job as CTV Regina sports anchor/reporter to working in Los Angeles as an on-air broadcaster with FOX Sports 1, a new national sports channel that’s scheduled to launch in the U.S. in mid-August. It will be FOX’s version of ESPN.
“I was definitely surprised to get the job. I couldn’t believe it. I knew I was a pretty big underdog,” says Julie, who will be joining popular TV hosts Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole, who left TSN to join FOX.
Julie’s opportunity arose after she did a documentary on Regina native Ryan Murray, the second overall pick in the 2012 NHL amateur entry draft. Murray’s agent was so impressed with the Queen’s grad’s work that he put her in touch with people from his agency’s entertainment division. Julie was flown to Los Angeles and was soon doing interviews for U.S. networks.
She remembers looking across the room and seeing other reporters from all over North America being interviewed for the same job, but in the end, she found her FOX audition was easy. Julie’s years of sports broadcast experience – including stints at CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada, FOX’s Soccer Channel, Leafs TV, and The Score – meant she had all the skills FOX executives wanted.
Her media career started at Queen’s where she began volunteering with Queen’s TV.
“As soon as I did my first interview, I knew it was what I wanted to do my entire life,” Julie recalls. “I thought, ‘How can I make this my career?’”Julie wrote for The Journal, spent a summer working at CKWS-TV, and was a reporter/host for Cogeco TV’s coverage of the Kingston Frontenacs hockey games. Her time in Kingston helped her learn how to juggle many projects at once.
“I know my work ethic is what got me to where I am today, and I learned that from Queen’s. I remember staying in Stauffer Library all night to get a million assignments done.
So I know how to work hard and that transferred well to my career,” she says. Her major step after Queen’s was to acquire a Master’s degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London in England.
Julie will be doing a little of everything at FOX – anchoring, sideline reporting, feature assignments and breaking news. She has all the skills to succeed at FOX. Her biggest challenge may be making the switch from Saskatchewan to Los Angeles.
“People are telling me I couldn’t pick two more different cities in North America. But I have lived in big and small cities, and I’m ready.”